Novartis, Incyte strike potential $1B deal

Wilmington, DE-based Incyte announced today that it will get a hefty $150 million up front and a $60 million milestone payment on a new licensing deal with Novartis that could be worth more than $1 billion. In one fell swoop, Novartis has added two hematology-oncology drug candidates to its pipeline.

Novartis gains ex-U.S rights to INCB18424, an oral JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor that is in Phase III development for myelofibrosis, a condition that can cause bone marrow failure, splenic enlargement and debilitating constitutional symptoms. The agreement "puts us in a strong position to transition Incyte into a successful commercial company with sufficient resources to continue to advance other promising compounds in our pipeline," notes Incyte CEO Paul Friedman, who adds in a statement that his company will retain U.S. rights to the drug. The deal also covers INCB28060, an oral cMET inhibitor that is about to enter Phase I development as a potential treatment for multiple cancers. Today's agreement gives Novartis global rights to that drug.

If development and commercialization milestones are met, Incyte could receive additional payments of up to $1.1 billion. The company also gets tiered, double-digit royalty payments on future ex-U.S. INCB18424 sales. Novartis will be responsible for all costs and activities for the cMET inhibitor after the Phase I clinical trial. Incyte is eligible to receive royalties on future sales of INCB28060 and has retained an option to co-develop and co-promote the candidate.

- here's Incyte's release
- read the Reuters report